The SONE Silver Jubilee essay competition

Posted by Wade Allison on 23 April 2023 in Articles

Tagged with: Anniversary, Essay competition, Jubilee, Sir Bernard Ingham, Sir William McAlpine.

Announcing two £1000 prizes to be awarded for essays on the future of nuclear power

The availability of energy will be crucial to later generations in the UK and around the world. To stimulate the imagination of the current generation, unfettered by the mistakes of their elders, the Supporters Of Nuclear Energy (SONE) is offering two prizes, each of £1000, to mark the 25th anniversary of its foundation on 1 June 1998.

The Sir Bernard Ingham Essay Prize

will be awarded to the UK resident under the age of 38 on 1 June 2023 whose submitted essay shows the most realistic scientific and political imagination.

The Sir William McAlpine Essay Prize

will be awarded to the student in full time school education in the UK whose submitted essay shows the most realistic scientific and political imagination.

Here’s the brief:

The date is 2073 and your essay tells the story of what has happened in the fifty years since the British Government finally started to take on board the superior benefits of nuclear energy. You describe what has happened to the energy supply, the climate and society in general. What other challenges have been faced? How have some of these been overcome? You may also look forward to 2098 and imagine what new problems might then be worrying the British people and their friends abroad, and how nuclear energy might contribute to their solution. You may also look back to 1931 when Winston Churchill wrote of the prospect of nuclear energy: The discovery and control of such sources of power would cause changes in human affairs incomparably greater than those produced by the steam-engine four generations ago.

Note: The year 2098 will be the 100th anniversary of the foundation of SONE by Sir Bernard Ingham (1932-2023), Sir William McAlpine (1936-2018) and others, who presciently foresaw that nuclear power would be essential to the future of the UK, and resolutely steered SONE as a mouthpiece of independent nuclear opinion towards this objective for many years.

Entries will be kept confidential, unless agreed otherwise by the author. They should include:

  • a title and text of not more than 1500 words without the use of graphics,

  • the name of the sole author with address, email and phone number,

  • a statement that the author’s age, residence and educational status making her or him eligible for the prize,

  • an acceptance that the selection of the winning essays by SONE will be final and that SONE may publish the two winning essays with a list of runners up.

Submissions should be sent as email attachments in pdf format by the closing date, 31 August 2023, to the Secretary at: or

The SONE Committee expects the announcement of the winner and the presentation of the Prize to be made at the SONE Annual General Meeting at the Reform Club on Monday 16th October 2023.